|Publication number||US5782941 A|
|Application number||US 08/717,895|
|Publication date||Jul 21, 1998|
|Filing date||Sep 23, 1996|
|Priority date||Sep 23, 1996|
|Publication number||08717895, 717895, US 5782941 A, US 5782941A, US-A-5782941, US5782941 A, US5782941A|
|Inventors||Kenji Matsunuma, Shiro Nakajima, Naruhito Nakajima|
|Original Assignee||Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (18), Classifications (24), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to a particulate trap for trapping and removing particulates such as carbon contained in diesel engine emissions.
Exhaust gases from automobiles are a major cause of air pollution. It is therefore very important to develop a technique for removing noxious components in exhausts.
In particular, it is most urgently required to develop a technique for removing particulates contained in diesel engine emissions, which are mainly made up of NOx and carbon.
To remove such noxious components in exhausts, various improvements in the engine itself have been proposed. Such improvements include exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems and improved fuel injection systems. But none of them has been a decisive solution. Today, after-treatment methods, in which a particulate trap is provided in an exhaust pipe to trap particulates in exhausts, are considered more practical, and efforts are being made to develop improved after-treatment type exhaust purifying systems.
The best way to dispose of trapped particulates is to burn them, because by burning particulates, it is possible to use the trap repeatedly. Use of a light oil burner to burn particulates for regeneration of the trap is under consideration. But an electric heater is considered more promising, because it is safer and can be controlled more easily. Particulate traps provided with an electric heater are disclosed in Unexamined Japanese Patent Publication 5-222920, 6-257422 and 6-264722.
In the second and third publications, an 800 W and a 700 W heater are used, respectively, for regeneration. Particulate traps with such high-power heaters can be used only in large vehicles such as buses and trucks, because medium-size and compact cars are so small in the capacity of their electric parts (batteries, alternators, relays, etc.) that it is impossible to use such high-power heaters. For smaller cars, it is necessary to use heaters that consume less electric power due to small battery capacity.
If a low-power heater is used, the problem is how to burn particulates with higher efficiency. If a heater used in a conventional trap were simply replaced with a heater with lower power, without changing other specifications of the trap, such a heater could not burn particulates completely due to insufficient heating. As a result, the pressure loss between the filter inlet and outlet, which increases as particulates are trapped, would not recover sufficiently even by the burning particulates. The filtering capacity thus drops.
If the power consumption is reduced by reducing the size and capacity of a conventional trap, the pressure loss property and the particulate trapping capacity will deteriorate.
A particulate trap is required to have high regeneration efficiency, low pressure loss properties and high particulate trapping efficiency. Thus, it is necessary to reduce the power consumption of the heater while maintaining these properties.
An object of the present invention is to provide a particulate trap which satisfies these requirements.
According to the present invention, there is provided a particulate trap for use with a diesel engine comprising a filter made of a heat-resistant material, and a regenerating heater spaced a distance from an exhaust incoming surface of the filter. The heater has an output of 400 watts or less. The heater and the filter has a length shortened so that the heating amount of the filter is 0.60 watts or less per square centimeter, and the filter has an increased thickness so as to make up for a reduction in the surface area of the filter due to a shortened length of the filter.
For higher heat resistance and less pressure loss, the filter may be one of a three-dimensionally reticulated metallic porous member such as metal foam, a ceramic fiber, a metallic unwoven fabric, and a combination thereof.
For more surface area (or filtering area), the filter may be selected from a filter comprising a single cylinder having one end thereof closed, a filter comprising a plurality of cylinders having different diameters from one another and arranged concentrically with one another with the spaces between the adjacent cylinders closed alternately at one and the other ends thereof, and a filter comprising a plurality of flat plates arranged parallel to one another with the spaces between the adjacent plates closed alternately at one and the other ends thereof.
The filter should be constructed of a plurality of filter members laminated one on another, each of the filter members being made of a coarser material at a nearer side to the exhaust incoming surface than at remote side thereof. This insures that even if the filter thickness is increased, the particulate is trapped uniformly over the entire range in the direction of thickness. Also the pressure loss property is improved.
In order that the particulate trap according to the present invention, having a heater with an output of 400 watts or less, exhibits the abovementioned properties in a balanced manner, its filter should have a length of 220 mm or less and a thickness of 4 mm or more.
By using a shorter heater and a shorter filter, it is possible to increase the heating temperature to a higher level, provided the electric power consumed by the heater is the same. The higher the heating temperature, the greater the temperature difference between the filter and the heater, and thus the higher the heat transfer efficiency from the heater to the filter. In particular, the amount of heat transferred by radiation increases in proportion to the fourth power of the heating temperature. Thus, it is advantageous to use a short heater and filter.
Also, a short filter is small in heat radiating surface, through which heat transferred to the filter can radiate. That is, such a filter is low in heat loss.
But a short filter, which is correspondingly small in surface area, is easily clogged with particulates, so that pressure loss properties tend to be poor. The filter according to the present invention has an increased thickness to make up for such reduction in surface area. Thus, its pressure loss properties will not deteriorate as markedly. This effect is especially remarkable in an arrangement in which the coarseness of the filter changes in the direction of thickness of the filter so that particulates will be trapped uniformly over the entire thickness of the filter.
Since the filter according to the present invention is high in heat transfer efficiency and low in heat loss, its regeneration efficiency is sufficiently high even though it is rather thick.
Other features and objects of the present invention will become apparent from the following description made with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic view of an experiment device used to evaluate regeneration properties;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a main component (filter element with a heater) of a particulate trap according to the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the filter element with the heater of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another type of filter element with a heater for use in a trap according to the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of still another type of filter element with a heater for use in the trap according to the present invention; and
FIG. 6 is a view showing the dimensions of the filter element used in an experiment.
Embodiments of the present invention will now be described.
FIG. 1 shows an experiment device, which comprises a 3400-cc, four-cylinder, direct-injection diesel engine vehicle, a chassis dynamometer, a DPF (diesel particulate trapping filter) 11 and a dilution tunnel.
FIG. 2 shows a diesel engine particulate trap according to the present invention including a filter element 10. It comprises two cylindrical filters 1 and 2 having different diameters from each other and arranged concentrically with each other, and a heater 3 disposed between the filters 1 and 2. The heater-equipped filter element 10 is mounted in a housing of DPF 11 shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 shows a section of the heater-equipped filter element 10 shown in FIG. 2. Exhaust is introduced into the space between the filters 1 and 2, pass through the respective filters, and flow to the outside of the filter 1 and the inside of the filter 2. To create this flow of exhaust gas, the end of the filter element remote from the gas incoming end is sealed by an iron plate 4 through a gasket.
The cylindrical filters 1 and 2 of the filter element shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 were formed from an Ni-Cr-alloyed, Nibased three-dimensionally reticulated porous material (trade name: CELMET made by Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd). The heater 3 was manufactured by stamping a thin Inconel plate, adjusting the resistance of the stamped member, and forming it into a cylindrical shape. It was heated by directly passing an electric current therethrough.
The resistance was adjusted so that the heater output would be 400 W when a voltage of 12 V was applied, irrespective of the length of the heater. The heater 3 may comprise a cylindrical heating medium made of punching metal, expanded metal, metal gauze or porous metal, and a sheathed heater wound around the heating medium.
Heater-equipped filter elements of Comparative Examples 1-3 and Examples 1-3 as shown in Table 1 and having dimensions shown in FIG. 6 were prepared.
These specimens were tested for their regeneration properties.
In the experiment, each heater-equipped filter element 10 shown in FIG. 2 was set in the housing of DPF 11 shown in FIG. 1, and the engine was operated at 1800 rpm under 1/4 of full charge until 1.5 g of particulates was trapped by the filter element.
In order to regenerate the filter, particulates were then burned by applying 12 V to the heater for 10 minutes from a constant-voltage power source in an exhaust atmosphere with the engine idling (oxygen content: 18%, temperature: 100° C., normal flow rate: 20 liters/min). The regeneration efficiency for each filter element was determined based on the following formulas to compare the regeneration properties.
wherein A=(filter pressure loss after regeneration) -(filter pressure loss before particulates are trapped)
B=(filter pressure loss after particulates are trapped)-(filter pressure loss before particulates are trapped)
The results are shown in Table 1.
As will be apparent from Table 1, Examples of the present invention all showed a regeneration efficiency higher than 80%. Thus, they can be advantageously used as particulate traps for medium- and small-sized cars.
The following heater-equipped filter elements were formed from materials shown in Table 2: filter elements 20 each comprising a single cylindrical filter as shown in FIG. 4 (Examples 7 and 8); a filter element 20 (shown in FIG. 5) comprising a plurality of filters 5 in the form of flat plates arranged parallel to each other and having the spaces between the adjacent filters closed alternately at one and the other ends of the filter element with both sides of the spaces between adjacent filters 5 closed by the housing 11 (Example 9), and a filter element 10 comprising two cylinders as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 (Example 10).
The heater 3 used in each of these filter elements was made of a thin Inconel plate with its resistance adjusted so that it will produce heating power as shown in Table 2 when a voltage of 12 V is applied. The filter and heater were sized so that the heating amount of the filter per unit area will be as shown in Table 2.
These specimens were subjected to the same experiment as in Experiment 1. The regeneration efficiency for each specimen is shown in Table 2. As shown in Table 2, the single-cylinder filter element and the flat-plate type filter element achieved results as good as the double-cylinder filter element.
The particulate trap according to the present invention has a shortened length to improve heat transfer efficiency and reduce the heat loss, and has an increased thickness to make up for reduction in filter surface area due to shortened length. With this arrangement, it is possible to achieve a sufficiently high regeneration efficiency using a heater with an output of 400 W or less without any marked reduction in the particulate trapping capacity. Such a particulate trap can be used even in medium and small diesel engine cars, which are typically small in the capacity of electric parts. Thus, the present invention will be of great help in purifying the environment.
TABLE 1__________________________________________________________________________Filter Filter Inner filter 2 Outer filter 1 Heating amountlength thickness Inner Outer Inner Outer Filter per unitL t dia d1 dia d2 dia D1 dia D2 weight filter area Regeneration(mm) (mm) (mm) (mm) (mm) (mm) (g) (W/cm2) efficiency__________________________________________________________________________Comparative 270 3 36 42 54.5 60.5 270 0.49 20%Example 1Comparative 240 3.6 34.8 42 54.5 61.7 270 0.55 55%Example 2Comparative 240 2.5 37 42 54. 5 59. 5 160 0.55 62%Example 3Example 1 220 4 34 42 54.5 62.5 270 0.60 82%Example 2 200 4.5 33 42 54.5 63.5 270 0.66 93%Example 3 160 5.1 31.8 42 54.5 64.7 270 0.82 100%__________________________________________________________________________
TABLE 2__________________________________________________________________________ Heating amount Heater per unitFilter Filter power filter area Regenerationstructure material (w) (W/cm2) efficiency__________________________________________________________________________Example 7 Single tube Ceramic 400 0.78 100% of FIG. 4 fiberExample 8 Single tube Metallic unwoven 400 0.67 95% of FIG. 4 fabric of SUSExample 9 Parallel plates Metalic unwoven 400 0.63 84% of FIG. 5 fabric of SUSExample 10 Double tubes CELMET 300 0.62 86% of FIG. 2, 3 Ni--Cr__________________________________________________________________________ *SUS = stainless steal
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|U.S. Classification||55/282, 55/DIG.10, 55/523, 55/DIG.30, 60/311, 55/487, 60/320|
|International Classification||F01N3/027, B01D46/24, B01D46/00, B01D46/42|
|Cooperative Classification||F01N3/027, B01D46/0063, B01D2279/30, B01D46/4263, B01D46/24, B01D46/0021, Y10S55/10, Y10S55/30|
|European Classification||F01N3/027, B01D46/42T, B01D46/00R20H, B01D46/24, B01D46/00D2A|
|Sep 23, 1996||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SUMITOMO ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES, LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MATSUNUMA, KENJI;NAKAJIMA, SHIRO;NAKAJIMA, NARUHITO;REEL/FRAME:008236/0843
Effective date: 19960918
|Feb 13, 2002||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jul 22, 2002||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Sep 17, 2002||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20020721